TRUMP COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER

As we know, our beloved, above-the-law President, Donald “Stonewall Maximum” Trump, is not one to account for his violations of civility, humanity or legality, but in case he ever feels a need to make excuses for his base….instincts, he can grab on to one of the following old floozies — I mean DOOZIES — for justification. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, he may even want to lay claim to them all — no matter the doozies became noted quotes ere Trump ere heard of them or the quotees (well, maybe he heard of the first one.)

“I haven’t committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.” –DAVID DINKINS, former NYC Mayor

“I care not who makes the laws of a nation if I can get out an injunction.” –FINLEY PETER DUNNE, humorist

“Suppression is 9/10ths of the law.” –EVAN ESAR (a pun on the expression “Possession is 9/10ths of the law.”

“I simply misremembered it wrong.” –MARK KIRK, former Republican Senator from Illinois

“My friends, no matter how rough the road may be, we can and we will, never, surrender to what is right.” –DAN QUAYLE, VP of the United States under George H.W. Bush

“There are people in our society who should be separated and discarded.” –SPIRO AGNEW, V.P. of the U.S. under Richard Nixon

“I AM the Federal Government.” –TOM DELAY, former GOP Majority leader, after telling a business owner to put out his cigar due to a federal law against smoking in the building

Now that’s a quote we can lay on THE DONALD without DELAY.

 

 

 

Advertisements

WE’RE ALL HUMAN (EVEN REPUBLICANS)

For those who pay little attention to American politics, the name of attorney Michael Avenatti may be unfamiliar, but most of you have no doubt heard of his famous client, the porn star and ex-Trump hookup, Stormy Daniels. I bring Avenatti up because I have often wondered why Democrats don’t more vehemently challenge GOP complicity when President Bully Boy acts as if the country were his own personal fiefdom to ru(i)n as he damn well pleases. On August 10, Avenatti addressed that very question:

Now, I fully recognize that the Republican faithful (at least, a fair number of them) are human and, as such, susceptible to being sold a bill of goods and/or being evangelized by a vainglorious pied piper. As an ex-Catholic, I know what it’s like to be vulnerable to vested interests in positions of authority. They seem to have all the answers at a time answers are hard to come by, but you haven’t yet grown to realize that, to those who claim to have the answers, you are part of their agenda, another recruit to their cause/beliefs. Easy pickings.

So, while I can empathize with being gullible (because I’ve been there, done that), there is a bigger issue at stake here, and that is what kind of country are we becoming? When will it prove too late to undo the divisiveness, to blue pencil the Orange Man who debases the dark place that was once The White House? What in the name of civility and integrity has become of our standards of leadership?

America has never been “a perfect union”–far from it–but in a world where almost everything is relative, we are at a new low in my lifetime. For all the faults and failings of past Presidents, has there ever been one so self-obsessed, so megalomaniacal, so utterly incapable of reflection and putting himself in the place of those who come from a different place (both literally and figuratively)?

I started this post intending to intersperse some humor into a sober matter, but despite all the Trump satire and jokes that serve as a sort of laugh-to-keep-from-crying palliative (I plead guilty to occasionally getting in on the relief act), there’s really nothing funny about this President in the long run. At the end of the day, the joke is on us….and we brought it on ourselves. Now it’s up to us–we, the voters–to get serious about an act of contrition.

November 6, 2018 would be a good time to start.

WHAT WOULD GEORGE SAY?

Well, we know what they [politicians] want. I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests.
They want obedient workers, people just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. They want your fuckin’ retirement money, and you know something? They’ll get it from you sooner or later cause they own this fuckin’ place. It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.
–George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Remember George (“THE SEVEN WORDS YOU CAN’T SAY ON TELEVISION”) Carlin? I was reminded of him by this May 11 comic strip in the local paper:

http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2016/05/11

….while on the very next day (Carlin’s birthday), my erstwhile friend Richard “Ricardo” Cahill posted this piece on his blog:

http://www.richardcahill.net/home/donald-trump-appreciation-day

Those two items combined to make me wonder what Carlin, who died before Barack Obama was elected President, would say about today’s politics in general/Donald Trump in particular. Judging by the opening quote, I don’t think we have to wonder long.

So, using the comb I no longer need to part the hair which parted ways with my skull years ago, I combed through the Carlin legacy to come up with these ever-apt ‘by George’ quotes:

When you’re born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat (from which I gather that a Trump by any other name would spiel as P. T. Barnum).

In America, anyone can become President. That’s the problem. (George, I doubt that even you appreciated how true that may prove to be.)

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth. [I talk, therefore I lie.]

Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay [yes, but it’s for a great cause]. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.

Now, there’s one thing you might have noticed I don’t complain about: politicians. [Really?] Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They come from American parents and American families, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders.

Good honest hard-working people continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about you. [Lucky for George, this isn’t TV.]  They don’t care about you at all. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. It’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.

So, it seems the title question has been answered. George would say today what he said then –  he’d just have even more clowns to laugh at. The Donald alone is an absurdist’s dream, not to mention such other relative newcomers to the national stage (aka The Theater of the Absurd) as Sarah Palin. But that’s show business….and, in the immortal words of P. T. Barnum, it’s still THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

P.S. Memo to Hillary: This post contains classified information. Please handle appropriately.

 

 

 

 

 

30 NOVEMBER — TO THE SWIFT

As 3o days hath the month of November,
Today marks the end of a month to remember.
Swift doth the day pass into December,
Ere the twain shall meet….in a glowing ember.

The above is my Lilliputian ode to two literary giants who were born on this day: Jonathan Swift  in 1667, Mark Twain in 1835. This post celebrates the former, the latter having been extolled in a post one year ago today (THE UNIVERSAL MARK TWAIN).

Jonathan Swift’s pièce de résistance, of course, was GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, a book I gobbled up when about 12 years old (in an abridged version for children), and still own. However, at that age I didn’t fully appreciate that it was much more than a grand adventure tale — it’s also a masterpiece of parody and social/political satire, as exemplified by the enmity between the empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu over which end of an egg should be broken first before being eaten — a conflict which put Gulliver in the middle between the Big Endians and the Small Endians. Well, I suppose that makes just as much sense as real people fighting over whose god is the Big Enchilada.

Let us turn now to three quotations from the unabridged GULLIVER’S TRAVELS:

Here commences a new dominion acquired with a title by divine right. Ships are sent with the first opportunity; the natives driven out or destroyed; their princes tortured to discover their gold; a free license give to all acts of inhumanity and lust, the earth reeking with the blood of its inhabitants: and this execrable crew of butchers, employed in so pious an expedition, is a modern colony, sent to convert an idolatrous and barbarous people.

The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver’s watch may be his god, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting.

It is a maxim among these lawyers, that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind. These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions; and the judges never fail of decreeing accordingly.

I close with three more Swift quotes, the last of which I intend to inscribe on a club to beat anyone who would disparage my stunning cunning punning:

When the world has once begun to use us ill, it afterwards continues the same treatment with less scruple or ceremony, as men do to a whore.

Words are the clothing of our thoughts.

Punning is a talent which no man affects to despise except he that is without it.

 

–30–

 

CONTORTIONISTS AND DUMMIES

Every nation gets the government it deserves.  –Joseph de Maistre, 1811

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Every once in a while — like every day — you see on TV/the Internet, or read in the newspaper, that politicians have done or said things that are so over-the-top, you can’t believe they emanated from a sensible, reasonable human being. And, of course, you are correct — they were actually begot by a verbal contortionist or a ventriloquist’s dummy. Who else could engage in such twisted logic or move their lips to the voice of ideological rote?

Case in point: on Wednesday last, House Republicans sued the President for overreaching without congressional authority; on Thursday, they issued a statement putting the onus on the President to act on his own “without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders” — a contradiction that even several Republicans admitted made little sense.

So what else is new(s)? Who elects such hypocrit-ters? Well, after exhaustive research, extensive investigation and having previously made up my mind, I have come to the conclusion that….WE do. Yes, it’s true. We voters are such dumb asses that we have been known to elect a real ass to office if he belongs to our political persuasion.

Take the case of the good citizens of Milton, Washington, who in 1938 elected Boston Curtis to be Republican precinct committeeman. The Democratic mayor, to prove the point that many voters have no clue who they’re voting for, had managed to get Boston Curtis on the ballot by signing the filing documents as legal witness. Boston Curtis was a brown mule. I suspect that, like most mule-headed politicians, animal instinct took over and Boston Curtis refused to resign even after the truth came out when he brayed his victory speech.

At least, Boston Curtis was among the living. Dead people have been known to win elections as well. In 2009, a 77 year old Alabama Republican ran for Bibb County Commissioner and won on the strength of straight party line voting, despite departing this vale of tears prior to the election. Likewise, a 96 year old Florida man won 56% of the vote for Orange County Tax Collector, notwithstanding dying before being elected. Apparently, tax-resenting voters figured a 96 year old tax collector wasn’t going to be too swift on the job, dead or alive.

Of course, America doesn’t have a monopoly on clueless voters. In 1967, during an election campaign in Picoaza, Ecuador, the makers of Pulvapies (foot powder) aired an ad proclaiming, “Vote for any candidate, but if you want well-being and hygiene, vote for Pulvapies.” You guessed it — voters elected Pulvapies their new mayor (who knows — compared to the other candidates, Pulvapies may have been the best choice, hands down).

On the other hand, the people of Sao Paulo, Brazil, knew very well who and what they were voting for when they elected a clown to their congress in 2010….an actual, illiterate clown, no less. Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva (professional name Grumpy the Clown”), who ran using the campaign slogan, “It can’t get any worse,” got over 1.3 million votes (more than double the number of votes for his nearest challenger) by promising to do absolutely nothing if elected, other than finding out what they do with their time in Congress and telling the voters. Now that’s what I call a candid-ate.

GRUMPY THE CLOWN! GRUMPY THE CLOWN! GRUMPY THE CLOWN! He da mano*!

*Mano is slang for “man” in Portuguese (the language of Brazil).

 

POLITICS AND POETRY

What would comedians (or satirical poets) do without politicians? Now there’s a question for the sages, but I will leave the plowing of that fertile field to others and settle for a few digs with my poet’s pen (yes, there are still several of us pen-poets left).

DOGGEREL MAY BE A DOG BUT
DOGMA MAKES MORE MANURE

Ideologues prize
A left or right agenda….
But the other guys
Still won’t surrenda
As both sides reprise
‘Return To Senda’
While truth and lies
Blur in the blenda
And compromise
Goes out the winda.

HAIKU ON THE HUSTINGS

The candidate smiles,
waves warmly to massed strangers;
he’s been here before.

I’M REVIEWING THE SITUATION ROOM

You’re in The Situation Room;
And even if you’re not, I’m.
Why? Witnessing whether Wolf’s worth
Three hours of our time.
My grade: a Fair for Wolf Blitzer,
Plus Affair for Eliot Spitzer….
With apologies for a desperate rhyme.